Noontime Sports Update: We’re Closed

By Matt Noonan

Dear Noontime Sports fans and friends:

I hope this note (and post) finds everyone doing well, staying safe and healthy, while thinking optimistically – better days are ahead, everyone. I believe it!

Today, I am writing to announce a site update for the remainder of 2020: we will be closed with plans of restarting our blog (and site) next January!

Additionally, our rebranded podcast – The Matt Noonan Podcast – will not begin its second season until next January (at the earliest!).

To say these past few weeks and months have been tough when it comes to daily, weekly and monthly coverage would be an understatement. But I am extremely grateful to everyone that has provided both my colleagues and I with the opportunity to produce some positive content during these unprecedented times.

Additionally, I want to thank everyone that has joined me, both recently and over the past few years for podcast interviews – I truly appreciate our various guests carving out time to join me, as well as answer a slew of my questions. And for our listeners (at home or in the car), thank you for tuning in – hopefully I didn’t say “um” too many times (fingers crossed!).

While this was certainly not an easy decision, I do believe this short break will allow me to comeback reenergized to produce some content that I love, but also enjoy sharing with my colleagues, friends, family members, and fans. And while I have said it before, I will say it again, I am extremely thankful to everyone that has provided me an opportunity to cover their respective athletic teams and programs to those that have granted me access to some amazing events over the past 11 years.

Please continue to stay safe and well, everyone, and I hope you all have a wonderful rest of 2020 while enjoying some holiday cheer either in-person or remotely!

No. 2 Notre Dame Remains Perfect, Tops BC, 45-31

Ian Book and the Notre Dame football team beat Boston College to improve to 8-0 overall. (PHOTO COURTESY: WNDU)

By NoontimeSports.com

Brian Kelly was worried about a potential letdown following his team’s thrilling win last week against fourth-ranked Clemson University. But instead, the Everett, Massachusetts native watched his second-ranked Notre Dame football team pick-up its eighth win of the season as the Fighting Irish beat Boston College, 45-31, in Chestnut Hill.

With the win, Notre Dame improves to 8-0, including 7-0 against Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) foes while Boston College dips to 5-4.

Notre Dame’s Ian Book completed 20 of 27 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for a game-high 85 yards on 10 carries and one score. All three of Book’s touchdown passes landed in the hands of Ben Skowronek, who caught fives passes for 63 yards. Boston College’s Jaelen Gill led all receivers with 105 receiving yards.

Despite a slow start, Notre Dame truly gained momentum, as well as the lead, in the second quarter by scoring three touchdowns to secure a 31-16 lead at the break.

The Fighting Irish’s lead would continue to grow as the second half progressed, but the Eagles were able to reduce the deficit with touchdowns by David Bailey and Hunter Long.

Notre Dame retained possession following Boston College’s final score and drained the clock with five rushing plays, along with a pair of kneel-downs following an unsportsmanlike penalty against Maximilian Roberts.

As a team, Notre Dame recorded 29 first downs while converting two fourth down attempts. They also produced 557 yards of total offense while Boston College finished the game with 357 total yards.

Tonight’s win was Brian Kelly’s 100th victory with the Fighting Irish. He joins Lou Holtz and Knute Rockne, who have also recorded 100 wins or more as the head coach of the Notre Dame football team.

Both teams are off next weekend, but will return to the gridiron on Friday, November 27. Boston College will host Louisville at 12 p.m. while Notre Dame will visit North Carolina for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff.

Blakenship Leads USMMA Past Coast Guard, 24-14.

The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) beat Coast Guard Academy in the 49th meeting of the Secretaries Cup. (PHOTO COURTESY: USMMA Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Ian Blakenship rushed for a game-high 151 yards on 29 carries and one touchdown while Ceaser Gonzalez added 103 yards on the ground and one score as the United States Merchant Marine Academy topped Coast Guard Academy, 24-14, to claim the Secretaries’ Cup for the second-straight season.

Saturday’s matchup between the Mariners and Bears capped a three-sport, three-game fall series between the two academies, which saw the Coast Guard Academy men’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams secure wins against USMMA last month.

Coast Guard struggled to contain the Merchant Marine rushing attack, which tallied 343 yards on 71 rushing attempts and three touchdowns. Blakenship, Gonzalez, and Matt Restifo each rushed for one score while Jack Ruark tallied six points on three extra points and a 25-yard field goal.

Merchant Marine led Coast Guard, 10-7, at the break and 17-7 after three quarters before Restifo sealed the win with a four-yard touchdown run with 4:48 remaining.

Coast Guard’s Jared Colletti scored twice for the Bears while finishing the contest with 112 yards of total offense, including 88 receiving yards. Eugene Bizer led the Bears defense by recording a game-high 20 total tackles, including 14 solo stops and two tackles for a loss of 10 yards.

John Barbera, who was making his first start at quarterback for the Bears, completed 18 of 34 passes for 181 yards and one touchdown.

With the win, Merchant Marine has now won 34 contests against Coast Guard Academy while the Bears have captured 15 meetings.

The Friday Rewind (Nov. 13, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com

Hello, Friday – how are you?

It’s a rather rainy and chilly outside in Boston, but let’s focus on something more enjoyable: the Noontime Sports Friday Rewind – yay!

Like last week, we’ll highlight a few afternoon headlines (and links), as well as recap the past few days of blogging.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and we’ll be back for more over the weekend!

Noontime’s Friday Afternoon Headlines

Noontime’s Week of Content (Nov. 9- Nov. 13)

Noontime Sports Podcast

  • Our first season of podcasting with Anchor concluded last week, but you can listen to last week shows, along with other shows by subscribing to our show on Apple Podcast and Spotify.

Noontime Instagram Posts  (Make sure to follow us @NoontimeNation)

  • Brendan Costa and the Bates College football team were honored Monday for our ‘on this date one year ago.’ (Monday, Nov. 9)
  • Ryan Jones and the Coast Guard Academy football team were featured in our #ThrowbackThursday post. (Thursday, Nov. 12)

Noontime’s Coast Guard-USMMA Prediction

Jake Behne (left) and Hudson Dunaway (right) pose with the Secretaries’ Cup in November 2018. (PHOTO COURTESY: Coast Guard Academy Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

The final NCAA D-III football game of 2020 will take place tomorrow between Coast Guard Academy and the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) with the winner claiming the Secretaries’ Cup.

Last season, the Mariners topped the Bears, 56-41, thanks to quarterback Krystian Abbott, who finished the game with 298 yards of total offense.

Coast Guard captured the 2018 meeting by a score of 26-12 to secure the Secretaries’ Cup for the first time since 2014.

Tomorrow’s matchup – the 49th meeting between these two academies – will be streamed on ESPN3 with kickoff scheduled for 12:05 p.m.

Below is our pregame preview, as well as our prediction – let us know if you agree or disagree by sending a tweet to @NoontimeSports. Enjoy the game, everyone!


Noontime’s Coast Guard-USMMA Preview: It’s been nearly a year since the Bears and Mariners tangled on the gridiron, but it seems as if both teams are eager and ready to play some football.

Coast Guard enters the contest with a great deal of experience on both sides of the ball. Quarterback John Barbera, who has appeared in five contests, including three last season, will start his first game for the Bears – expect the Glen Mills, Pennsylvania native to target Justin Moffatt, who led the NEWMAC last season with 66 receptions while posting a career-best in receiving yards (872) to go with five touchdowns.

Linebacker Eugene Bizer will be tasked with leading a Coast Guard defense that will need to slow down a Mariners squad that averaged 41.1 points per game last fall. Merchant Marine’s offense is very run-heavy and it is expected that the Mariners will lean heavily on halfback Matt Restifo, who finished last season with career-bests in rushing yards (389), yards per game (43.2), and touchdowns.

Eric Davidson and Colton Ray will be two players to watch on the Mariners defense tomorrow – this particular unit limited opposing foes to 112.7 rushing yards per game last season.

Noontime’s Prediction: This has the potential for a back-and-forth affair, but I think this contest will come down to whichever defense can slow down the opposing attack. I don’t anticipate a high-scoring affair like we witnessed last season, but instead both teams scoring at least three, maybe four touchdowns. PREDICTION: Coast Guard 30, USMMA 26